Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gabon spoil Cup of Nations debut for Comoros



Gabon spoil Cup of Nations debut for Comoros

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Gabon’s forward Aaron Boupendza celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Group C Africa Cup of Nations football match against Comoros on Monday. AFP

Gabon spoil Cup of Nations debut for Comoros

Aaron Boupendza stepped up in the absence of Covid-stricken Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to earn Gabon a 1-0 victory over Africa Cup of Nations debutants Comoros on Monday.

Arsenal star Aubameyang and midfielder Mario Lemina missed their team’s opening Group C fixture in Yaounde after testing positive for the coronavirus last week.

Qatar-based Boupendza struck the lone goal on 16 minutes, smashing the ball high past Comoros goalkeeper Ali Ahamada from a tight angle after being played in by Louis Ameka Autchanga.

Comoros forward Moussa Djoumoi nearly equalised in the second half with a fierce long-range shot that Gabon goalkeeper Jean-Noel Amonome shovelled wide.

The Indian Ocean islanders are one of two teams appearing at the continental tournament for the first time, along with Gambia.

Only three of 11 newcomers have reached the knockout rounds since the turn of the century, although Madagascar did make it to the quarter-finals at the first attempt in 2019.

Gabon are participating for the eighth time. They have twice advanced to the last eight, in 1996 and 2012.

Patrice Neveu’s side moved level on three points with Morocco, 1-0 winners over Ghana earlier in the day.

“That’s three points that should allow us to gain in confidence,” said Neveu.

“I know and I’m completely aware in terms of our performance, we need to do more. But I had four key players absent - even if it’s the same for other teams.”

Lemina has been cleared to return to face Ghana in Gabon’s second match on Friday, but the status of Aubameyang remains uncertain.

“Pierre is in good spirits. He’s exercising in his room and is working on a bike. He doesn’t have any fever. We hope his test will turn negative.”

Meanwhile, Comoros have their work cut out with upcoming opponents Morocco ranked 104 places above them.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa